“Money talks, wealth whispers” – according to the old staying, and this is the best way to sum up “old money style”. While new money can be loud and ostentatious, old money is understated and discreet. Reader Kathryn suggested we write an article on this topic. In this article, we explore exactly what old money style is, and how to get an old money aesthetic for less.
Old money style, once the exclusive domain of the world’s elite, has captured the attention of a new audience, with #oldmoneystyle trending on social media platforms. So, it’s the perfect time be inspired by how old money outfits.
What is old money style?
Old money refers to those who have had substantial wealth in their family for generations. Think of legendary families like the Vanderbilts, Gettys and Rothschilds. In style terms, it’s about a refined elegance that evokes wealth without having to say it. The opposite is “new money style” where obvious labels are worn.
How to recognize old money style?
It’s someone who looks incredibly groomed and put together but in a very easy, elegant way. Timeless elegance is prioritized over short-lived fashion trends. This woman knows how to carry herself and has an air of ‘old money’ about her. The good news is that you don’t have to be rich to achieve this style and can achieve it on any budget if you pay attention to the right materials and the perfect fit.
Old money style essentials
So, what are some of the essentials you should invest in to get an old money look? We’d start with a perfectly fitting jacket, silk and cotton shirts, classic pants and straight jeans, pencil or a-line skirts, cardigans, polo shirts, loafers, ballet flats, riding boots, slim leather belts, silk scarves, headbands, and square or Catseye sunglasses.
Tips for achieving an old-money aesthetic
Read on to see an old money capsule wardrobe we’ve put together for you. But first, here are some top tips for creating your old-money outfits.
1. stick to classic, timeless style
Old money style doesn’t follow fashion trends. It’s about choosing timeless clothes, shoes and accessories that you can wear year after year.
2. you don’t have to spend money to look like old money
Of course, you can opt for designer options. Because old money style is timeless, you’ll get lots of wear from your investments. But you don’t have to. It’s about an aesthetic rather than how much you spend. Below, we’ve put together designer outfits with purse-friendly options.
3. don’t follow fashion
We’re not saying don’t keep an eye on fashion trends. But, an old money style isn’t too ‘trendy’ and of the moment. It’s a style that could be worn for many years.
4. think groomed and glossy
You won’t see old money style with garish nail colors, nor will you see unkept nails. From top to toe, think groomed and put together.
5. choose neutral colors
You won’t see old money wearing bright colors. Instead, look for neutral shades like navy, tan, white, cream, gray, and black.
6. keep your hairstyle and color subtle and natural
The same goes for your hair as for your outfits. Think natural and subtle. Rather than very trendy cuts and colors, think waves, classic bobs, and elegant chignons.
7. choose natural materials
Old money chooses natural materials like linen, cotton, cashmere, silk, and wool rather than wearing synthetics.
8. get a great tailor
Old money isn’t usually tight-fitting, but it is well-fitting. Invest in quality clothes, and ensure they look made to measure by finding a great tailor.
9. look for well-made clothes
The little details make a big difference. You don’t have to wear designer items, but make sure your clothes are well-made. Check the lining, seams, and stitching for quality.
10. Get inspiration from similar style types
11. Your jewelry is subtle
Choose subtle jewelry like stud earrings or small drop earrings with thin gold chains rather than big statement necklaces.
OLD Money brands
These designers are the perfect place to start if you want to invest in your old-money outfits.
- Ralph Lauren
- Loro Piana
- Brunello Cucinelli
- Saint Laurent
- Jil Sander
- The Row
For old money style on a budget
Celebrities with an old-money aesthetic
If you’re looking for old money inspiration, which celebrities can you take a look at? Gwyneth Paltrow dresses old money in real life and in movies like The Talented Mr. Ripley. Other celebrities with old money style include the Princess of Wales, Meghan Markle, and Victoria Beckham.
Old money outfits
Now, let’s move on to some specific old-money outfits you can choose. You’ll find one designer choice and a budget-friendly option. Take a look and see if you can spot the difference.
blazers and chinos
No old money wardrobe is complete without a well-fitting blazer and a great pair of chinos. Add a slim belt, gold watch and slingbacks.
Polo Ralph Lauren Double-Knit One-Button Blazer – Careste Melissa Shirt – Helmut Lang Stretch Wool-Blend Boot-Cut Pants – Valentino Garavani VLOGO Raffia Pointed Toe Slingback Pump – Loro Piana Bale Leather Tote Bag – LOEWE Graphic Logo Leather Belt – FERRAGAMO Soft Square IP Yellow Gold Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch – Mikimoto 18K Yellow Gold, 0.02 TCW Diamond & Akoya Cultured Pearl Pendant Necklace
On a budget: J.Crew Wool-Blend Blazer Jacket – Boden Sienna Silk Shirt – J.Crew Kate Straight-Leg Pant – Sam Edelman Terra Block Heels – Madewell The Transport Bucket Bag – J.Crew Skinny Italian Leather Belt – Tory Burch The Miller Bracelet – kate spade new york Goldtone & Imitation Pearl Pendant Necklace
Sweater and wide leg pants
A cable knit sweater is an old-money classic. Look for a cable knit that is quite fine rather than a trendy chunky knit. Regarding your pant style, you’re looking for straight, wide, or bootcuts rather than cuts that are too trendy. Add a pair of neutral loafers.
Polo Ralph Lauren Julianna Cable-Knit Wool & Cashmere Sweater – Zimmermann August Wide-Leg Pants – Pollini Sacchetto Leather Loafers – Loro Piana Bale Leather Tote Bag – Katey Walker 18K Yellow Gold, Pearl & 0.50 TCW Diamond Tuck Stud Earrings
On a budget: J.Crew Cashmere Cable-Knit Sweater – Limited-edition Anna October© X J.Crew Trouser – Sam Edelman Loraine Loafer – Madewell The Transport Bucket Bag – Shashi 14K Gold-Plate, Cubic Zirconia & Pearl Drop Earrings
Rollneck sweater and pleated skirt
A roll-neck sweater is perfect with straight jeans, wide pants, or a pleated skirt. Add a pair of knee-high boots under your skirt.
Polo Ralph Lauren Wool Turtleneck Sweater – Polo Ralph Lauren Pleated A-Line Midi-Skirt – Stuart Weitzman Yuliana Suede Knee-High Boot – Loro Piana Bale Leather Tote Bag – Katey Walker 18K Yellow Gold, Pearl & 0.50 TCW Diamond Tuck Stud Earrings
Silk dress and Chanel-style blazer
Chanel’s cardigan-style blazer has inspired countless designers and high-street stores. Wear with everything from your jeans and pants to your favorite little black or little white dress. Add classic pumps and a pair of gold or pearl stud earrings.
Generation Love Selma Chain Cardigan – Ralph Lauren Collection Berke Tailored Linen & Silk Dress – Pollini Suede-Leather Ballet Pumps – Jil Sander Large Giro Leather Tote Bag – David Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings – FERRAGAMO Soft Square IP Yellow Gold Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch
On a budget: J.Crew Collection Italian Wool-Blend Bouclé Cropped Lady Jacket – Everlane The City Stripe Midi Dress – Calvin Klein Gabrianna Pump – Madewell The Essential Bucket Tote – Brook and York Parker Knot Stud Earrings – Tory Burch The Miller Bracelet
Satin skirt and a crisp white shirt
A white shirt goes with everything. It’s perfect for ‘toning down’ an outfit to make it look as if you haven’t tried too hard but still look fabulous. You’ll see that Meghan Markle wears a white shirt with many outfits.
Alexander Wang Cinched-Waist Knit-Combo Shirt – Jason Wu Crinkled Satin Midi-Skirt – Valentino Garavani VLOGO Raffia Pointed Toe Slingback Pump – L’alingi Feather Top Handle Bag – David Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings
classic trouser suit – old money style
You won’t find an old money wardrobe without an excellent trouser suit. Choose neutral shades or soft colors like pale blue rather than anything too bright. You can dress your pantsuit up or down and wear the pants and jacket as separates to create many different looks.
Ralph Lauren Collection Camden Double-Breasted Blazer – Generation Love Lori Crystal Strap Cami – Ralph Lauren Collection Evanne Pleated Wool Pants – Pollini Suede-Leather Ballet Pumps – FERRAGAMO Charming Linen & Leather Tote Bag – Katey Walker 18K Yellow Gold, Pearl & 0.50 TCW Diamond Tuck Stud Earrings
On a budget: Boden The Marylebone Wool Blazer – Boden Silk Cami Top – Boden Westbourne Wool Pants – Calvin Klein Gabrianna Pump – Marc Jacobs Mini Grind Satchel Bag – Shashi 14K Gold-Plate, Cubic Zirconia & Pearl Drop Earrings
Stripe shirt and jeans
When it comes to your outerwear, old money wardrobes always have a classic trench coat as well as a long wool coat (one of those later!). Wear over your striped shirt and straight fit jeans. Dress up with heeled pumps or down with flat loafers.
TWP Last Night Cotton-Blend Trench Coat – FRAME Striped Cotton Shirt – Alexander McQueen High-Rise Wide-Leg Denim Jeans – Pollini Sacchetto Leather Loafers – FERRAGAMO Charming Linen & Leather Tote Bag – David Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings
On a budget: J.Crew Relaxed Heritage Trench Coat – J.Crew Striped Garçon Poplin Shirt – FRAME Le Slim Wide-Leg Jeans – Sam Edelman Loraine Loafer – Marc Jacobs Mini Grind Satchel Bag – Brook and York Parker Knot Stud Earrings
Polo top and shorts (add a varsity sweater if you’re chilly)
For a ‘stealth wealth’ summer outfit, give a nod to tennis and golf wear and choose a polo shirt and mid-length shorts. Add a varsity-style sweater, either worn as you would expect or over your shoulders if you need extra warmth.
Saks Fifth Avenue Collection Varsity Alpaca-Blend Pullover Sweater – Polo Ralph Lauren Rib-Knit Fitted Polo Top – Alice + Olivia Esta Pleated Tipped Shorts – Saint Laurent SL61 Grained Leather Sneakers – Loro Piana Tasman Canvas Tote – David Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings
Madewell Tipped V-Neck Oversize Wool Blend Sweater – Lands’ End Active Polo – J.Crew 7″ Stretch Chino Short – Sam Edelman Poppy Sneaker – AllSaints Anik Felt Tote – Brook and York Parker Knot Stud Earrings
Collared sweater and pencil skirt – old money style
Pencil skirts and a-line options both work with old-money outfits. Wear with your silk or white shirt, or opt for a collared sweater. Choose a long wool coat to wear over the top. Wear with toe cap shoes.
Brunello Cucinelli Viscose And Virgin Wool Gabardine Coat With Monili – Khaite Shrunken Jo Polo Cashmere Top – Self-Portrait Metallic Knit Midi-Skirt – Stuart Weitzman Sleek Cap Toe Bow Flat – David Yurman Sculpted Cable Stud Earrings
On a budget: Mango Handmade Oversized Wool Coat – Meenew Collared Sweater – J.Crew Maritime Tweed Midi Pencil Skirt – SHODENSE Cap Toe Bow Low Heel Pump – Madewell The Transport Bucket Bag – Brook and York Parker Knot Stud Earrings
Your old-money style designer capsule wardrobe
Below, you can see our designer and budget old-money style outfits together in one capsule. You can see that there are lots of different ways you could wear the individual clothes, shoes and accessories to get different looks.
Shop the old money style outfits below:
Your old-money style budget capsule wardrobe
Want old-money style on a budget? We’ve got you covered!
Shop the old money style (on a budget) outfits below:
What do you think about old money style? Is this an aesthetic you already wear, or that you might add more of to your wardrobe?
- A Capsule Wardrobe For The Classic Style Personality
- How To Fit A Blazer – A Comprehensive Guide On How To Select The Right Blazer
- The 10 Best Designer Handbags You Can Definitely Afford
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Feature image by Sylvia @sylviacolella
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